Selves and Subjectivities

Long a topic of intricate political and social debate, Canadian identity has come to be understood as fragmented, amorphous, and unstable, a multifaceted and contested space only tenuously linked to traditional concepts of the nation. As Canadians, we are endlessly defining ourselves, seeking to locate our sense of self in relation to some Other. By examining how writers and performers have conceptualized and negotiated issues of personal identity in their work, the essays collected in Selves and Subjectivities investigate emerging representations of self and other in contemporary Canadian arts and culture. Included are essays on iconic poet and musician Leonard Cohen, Governor General award–winning playwright Colleen Wagner, feminist poet and novelist Daphne Marlatt, film director David Cronenberg, poet and writer Hédi Bouraoui, author and media scholar Marusya Bociurkiw, puppeteer Ronnie Burkett, and the Aboriginal rap group War Party.

As critic Diana Brydon has argued, contemporary Canadian writers are "not transcending nation but resituating it." Drawing together themes of gender and sexuality, trauma and displacement, performati­vity, and linguistic diversity, Selves and Subjectivities offers an exciting new contribution to the multivocal dialogue surrounding the Canadian sense of identity.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Cover 1
Contents 6
Selves and Subjectivities / Manijeh Mannani and Veronica Thompson 10
A Semiotic Readingof Hédi Bouraoui’s The Woman Between the Lines / Elizabeth Dahab 22
Mourning Lost “Others” in Ronnie Burkett’s Happy / Janne Cleveland 48
Putting an End to Recycled Violence in Colleen Wagner’s The Monument / Gilbert McInnis 78
Representations of the Self and the Other in Canadian Intercultural Theatre / Anne Nothof 104
Pulling Her Self Together: Daphne Marlatt’s Ana Historic / Veronica Thompson 124
“New, Angular Possibilities”: Redefining Ethnicity Through Transcultural Exchanges in Marusya Bociurkiw’s The Children of Mary / Dana Patrascu-Kingsley 160
The Elegiac Loss of the English-Canadian Self and the End of the Romantic Identification with the Aboriginal Other in Leonard Cohen’s Beautiful Losers / Jesse Rae Archibald-Barber 184
Playing the Role of the Tribe: The Aesthetics of Appropriation in Canadian Aboriginal Hip Hop / Thor Polukoshko 216
Toward a Theory of the Dubject: Doubling and Spacing the Self in Canadian Media Culture / Mark A. McCutcheon 244
Contributors 274